Defiant five-time Grand Slam winner vows to ‘rise up again’ after being denied wildcard at the tournament
DEFIANT Maria Sharapova has told French Open chiefs: your “games” won’t stop me reaching my dreams.
Sharapova responded on Twitter to the decision by Roland Garros bosses to deny her a wildcard at the event.
The five-time Grand Slam winner wrote: “If this is what it takes to rise up again, I am in it all the way, everyday.
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“No words, games, or actions will ever stop me from reaching my own dreams.
“And I have many.”
The Sharapova issue continues to divide tennis.
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Steve Simon, head of women’s tour organisation the WTA, has slammed the French Open’s snub to two-time champion Sharapova.
Simon said: “Wildcards are offered at tournaments’ sole discretion. I fully support the players that received wildcards and wish them the very best of luck.
“It’s going to be a very exciting fortnight at Roland Garros.
“What I do not agree with is the basis put forward by the FFT for their decision with respect to Maria Sharapova. She has complied with the sanction imposed by CAS.
“The tennis anti-doping program is a uniform effort supported by the Grand Slams, WTA, ITF and ATP.
“There are no grounds for any member of the TADP to penalise any player beyond the sanctions set forth in the final decisions resolving these matters.”
But wildcards are always issued at the discretion of tournament organisers and now the ball is in the court of the Lawn Tennis Association and Wimbledon chiefs.
The LTA is expected to confirm in the coming days that Sharapova will be given a wildcard into the Aegon Classic, the Wimbledon warm-up event in Birmingham next month.
And the All England Club will announced on June 20 whether Sharapova, 30, will be given a free pass into the main draw at Wimbledon.
The 2004 champion has already sealed a place in the qualification event at Roehampton by right because of her ranking.
But the AELTC’s tennis sub-committee, chaired by former British No1 Tim Henman, has the power to give her a wildcard straight into the main draw.